Macro Flowers and Bugs

It’s summer time and it hasn’t been much fun to get out and shoot around here as the temperature climbs to over 100F almost every day in August. But, Saturday morning I made myself get out and I decided to try to shoot some close-ups of some bright yellow flowers and bees along the road near my house. In was a partly cloudy morning and I new that these flowers would be facing east and hopefully catching the early morning light.

I don’t really know what these flowers are called, but they are everywhere around here in the summer and I think that they make nice pictures. Below is a close up shot at 150mm and f/8. I am so close to the flower that the junky background is completely blurred out and could be anything.

Yellow Flower Close-up
Yellow Flower Close-up

There was almost no wind, which helped with focusing as I had to manually focus every photo. Manually focusing this close generally means getting close with the focus dial and then slowly moving myself back and forth to get the focus plane where I want it. There is a focus indicator in the lower left of the viewfinder that tells you to move forward or backwards, but looking at that while trying to hold the camera on the focus point is not easy.

Below is a bud that hasn’t bloomed yet. I thought it was nice to see the how the flower is folded up in the bud. I also got a lot of details in the green petals.

Yellow Flower Bud Close-Up
Yellow Flower Bud Close-Up

You can see that there is a very narrow depth of focus. The way to improve this would be focus stacking. But that would take a tripod and something to block the breeze to allow me to take several pictures to stack in PhotoShop. Maybe I will try that in the future.

There were also a few insects around. I had hoped to get some insects in the photos for interest. The below photo shows a moth that was very tolerant of me getting up close with my camera. I tried to get his eye area in focus, but I was fighting a slight breeze.

Close-up of a Moth on a Yellow Flower
Close-up of a Moth on a Yellow Flower

Looking at the foreground and background flower petals, you can see how razor thin the focus depth is. It was quite challenging to shoot this hand-held, trying to be very still and compensate for any breeze motion. But, shooting digital means that the ‘film’ is free so I got to take a lot of photos to get a decent one.

Next, I found few bees gathering pollen. The bees are much less tolerant of me and my big camera lens getting close to them. As a result I had a lot less time to focus before they flew away. I did manage to get a few keepers of the bees though.

Close up of Bee on a Yellow Flower
Close up of Bee on a Yellow Flower
Close up of Bee on a Yellow Flower
Close up of Bee on a Yellow Flower

One challenge I had shooting the bees was that they blend in with the center of the flower, so I tried to shoot from angles that placed them against the yellow flower petals behind them. It would be fun to try to get more detailed shots of the bees, but I think they would have to be captive in an enclosure to block the wind.

Close up of Bee on a Yellow Flower
Close up of Bee on a Yellow Flower

Those are my wildlife photos for Saturday morning. Thanks for reading and leave a comment if you like.

 

9 thoughts on “Macro Flowers and Bugs

  1. Cracking macro shots. Do you set up on a particular flower and wait for the wildlife to arrive or go where the action is? I’ve tried both with limited success. I’ve wondered about growing some flowers in pots in the glasshouse and trying there because (a) you’re out of the wind and (b) I could more easily clamp a tripod to the growing bench.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw some bees at some flowers and slowly walked up on them and managed to get a few shots before they flew on to the next flowers. There were flowers all along the road so it wasn’t hard to find a few bees. That road is in a construction zone and there is construction debris every where. The shallow focus makes it all disappear though.

      The wind is a real problem. I thought about getting a little collapsible white tent to put around a subject.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great shots. We are now back from Yellowstone. Thanks for your suggestion about the Lamar Valley. We drove through it, all the way to Silvergate, Montana. We saw lots of buffalo, and my wife was very thrilled. So was my camera, as I got lots of pics of those great beasts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] I have been internet ‘window shopping’ for macro lenses for about a year. There are some nice Nikon lenses, but they are expensive. Last fall I read that Irix announced a 150mm f/2.8 ‘Dragonfly’ macro-lens and that was all I heard about it for a few months. I didn’t really know what to expect as I had never used this brand. In mid-December it hit the stores for about $600 and I looked at it and waited for some reviews and then kind of forgot about it for a while. Then in August I received a nice bit of Amazon credit and thought of this lens again and ordered it from Adorama through Amazon. The lens arrived in good shape and I soon went out to find some subjects for close-ups. […]

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